Terrorists kidnap the Russian Prime Minister's 2 kids, take Chernobyl nuclear power plant and threaten to blow up a reactor. 4 Universal Soldiers go in but are no match to a Next Gen. UniSol. Luc/JCVD goes in but faces 2 NGUs.
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
John looks to take down Luc Deveraux after a home invasion claims his wife and daughter. The fight pits John against Andrew Scott and an army of genetically enhanced warriors; meanwhile, he must contend with a UniSol in relentless pursuit.
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
Forest ranger and Ex-Navy SEAL Henry is forced by the drug cartel to help retrieve a major shipment of drugs which went missing on the US-Canadian border. While in the woods, he runs into a man who has a vendetta against him, but both men must struggle to escape the forest and defeat the cartel, while at odds and at knife's edge with each other.Written by
Van Damme is having a blast; he's the only reason to watch this.
Van Damme is one of the few big action stars today whose acting actually improves over time. Back in his Kickboxer days, he had some unintentionally hilarious line-readings, but he always had a boyish charm that helped keep his movies afloat even when there wasn't any action happening on the screen. Now, he's a perfectly capable, legitimate actor. His English has improved immensely which has a lot to do with it, but you can tell that he still has a genuine passion for acting (unlike guys like Bruce Willis who look bored whenever they're on camera). Enemies Closer sees Van Damme as a villain once again playing Xander, who looks like a French-Canadian Joker esque madman, and he milks the role for all it's worth. He's a joy to watch. Whether he's barking orders to his henchmen or whimsically taunting the protagonist, Van Damme is eccentric and arresting for every moment that he's on screen. When he's not on screen, the life is sucked right out of the movie.
Everything else about this movie is bad. The protagonist is terrible, the dialogue is cringeworthy, every plot development feels forced and fabricated, even the lighting stood out to me as being exceptionally awful. You can barely see what the hell's going on half the time. The fight scenes, when they do happen, are entertaining enough. They're haphazardly edited though, which makes it hard to focus on anything for longer than half a second. And again, whenever Van Damme isn't on screen, the movie's momentum grinds to a dead stop. It's like watching a stage play and Van Damme is the hammy over-the-top lead gleefully dancing around the stage while everyone else is standing still in the background drearily reading off of cue cards.
If you're a die-hard Van Damme fan, go ahead and fast-forward through every scene he's not in. You won't miss anything important and you'll save yourself a lot of cringing and facepalming. His entrance and exit scenes in the film are particularly memorable and he's given a couple of fun villainous monologues. It's hard to fully enjoy Enemies Closer as a B-movie because it's so sloppy and gloomy; it never knows what tone to go for. And it doesn't help that none of the actors share the same conviction as Van Damme. The movie is mercifully short though, so if you are in the mood to watch Van Damme play the Joker and don't mind sitting through some atrocious dialogue-driven scenes, Enemies Closer isn't the worst way to spend 85 minutes.
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